Felix’s Velocity Is Back
Hey, remember early in the year when I was worried about Felix’s missing velocity? Yeah, about that… you can stop worrying now.
No, it’s not just because Felix has been ridiculously awesome the last few months, putting to rest any questions of whether he can succeed without a 95 MPH fastball. Given how good his change-up, curveball, and slider are, we were already pretty sure that was true. Instead, it’s because over the last month or so, Felix’s fastball has returned, and there’s not much difference between what he’s throwing now versus what he was throwing at the end of last year.
I know that graph isn’t the easy thing in the world to read, given that it goes all the way back to ’07, but focus on the right hand side of the image. You can see a big dip in maximum velocity at the beginning of the year, back when Felix was topping out at 92-93 and only hitting 94 on good days. Well, look at the max velocity in the last month or so – consistently hitting 95.
On June 1st, Felix averaged 92.0 MPH with his fastball for the first time all season. He then repeated that velocity (or beat it) in nine of his next 11 starts, and he’s been sitting at 93 for the last month. That is right in line with what he was throwing in the second half of 2011, and the upwards trend is comforting, especially as he carries another large workload this year.
Mid-20s Felix doesn’t throw as hard as early-20s Felix, and velocity isn’t central to Felix’s success, but I feel a little better about things with him throwing 95 again. Not that he ever really gave us reason to be worried, but if you had any lingering concern about where his fastball went, you can probably put those to bed. It’s back, and so is ridiculously dominant Felix.